Despite the marked meteorological differences from last years ceremonies, the record number of graduates10,430and their approximately 30,000 guests displayed emotions from festive to feisty. Journalism grads made confetti of shredded newspapers and videotapes, SIPA grads waved flags from different countries, and business grads showed their humor about the current job market by holding up Will Work for Food signs.
In his address, Bollinger referred to consequential events in the world over the past four years, particularly September 11, 2001, as formative experiences for the graduates as they take their places in the world.
You have attended the University at a remarkable and possibly even momentous period, he said. For nearly all of you, that period spans a time when the world seemed to be flourishing in nearly every way to one when the world is struggling to come to terms with threats and instabilitieseconomic, political, and social.
After his address, Bollinger bestowed honorary degrees on writer and poet Maya Angelou, psychologist Julian Hochberg, literary critic Sir Frank Kermode, geneticist Mary-Claire King, U.S. District Court Judge Constance Baker Motley, jazz musician Cecil Taylor, and mathematician Andrew Wiles.
This years University Medal for Excellence winner, broadcast journalist Claire Shipman 86CC 94SIPA, spoke at the Alumni Federations Commencement Day Luncheon in the Low Rotunda following the ceremony. Ten alumni received medals for University service at the luncheon. This years recipients were Bradley W. Bloch 83ENG 84CC; Judith Crist 45JRN; Ralph Goldstein 76PRM; Constance Alexander Krueger 53BC; Gary S. Rachelefsky 63CC; Sylvia Rosenberg 58SW; Jean-Yves Rostoker 71BUS; Laraine S. Rothenberg 71LAW; Lucille A. Roussin 69GS 85GSAS; Paul M. Thompson 77GSAS; and Clyde Y. C. Wu 56PS.
Photo: Eileen Barroso